Cancer Screening among immigrants living in urban and regional Australia: results from the 45 and up study

Marianne F Weber, May Chiew, Eleonora Feletto, Clare Kahn, Freddy Sitas, Lucy Webster
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2014, 11 (8): 8251-66
Over 25% of the Australian population are immigrants, and are less active participants in cancer screening programmes. Most immigrants live in urban areas of Australia, but a significant proportion (~20%), live in regional areas. This study explored differences in cancer screening participation by place of birth and residence. Self-reported use of mammogram, faecal occult blood test (FOBT), and/or prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests was obtained from 48,642 immigrants and 141,275 Australian-born participants aged 50 years or older in the 45 and Up Study (New South Wales, Australia 2006-2010). Poisson regression was used to estimate relative risks of test use, adjusting for key socio-demographic characteristics. Overall, immigrants from Asia and Europe were less likely to have had any of the tests in the previous two years than Australian-born participants. Regional Australian-born participants were more likely to have had any of the tests than those living in urban areas. Regional immigrant participants were more likely to have had an FOBT or PSA test than those living in urban areas, but there were no differences in mammograms. This report identifies key immigrant groups in urban and regional areas that policymakers and healthcare providers should target with culturally appropriate information to promote cancer screening.

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